Self-help synthesized

I found this article called Every self-help book ever, boiled down to 11 simple rules to be quite good. Reading through this helped me make my decision to go back to school.

Topic #5 really helped me clarify some thinking. If Memento Mori (remember that you have to die) is a little bleak for you, the article offers another way to think through this.

I’ve heard this called Future Casting” or Working from the future” too. Basically you visualize in as much clarity as you can the ideal outcome, then take a breath. Next, work backwards from that end state to make the steps that got you there. Then, start taking the first one.

If you are interested in trying something like this, find a buddy or coach to help you through it. It can be emotional work, indeed.

Back to school

I’ve committed to pursuing a Psychology degree starting in the fall of 2023. It should take 1-2 years depending on workload. Then I’ll look into a Masters Degree in clinical mental health or organizational psychology. I have some time to make up my mind on the end outcome.

I’ve been depriortizing finishing a degree for a long while. What made me finally commt wa working with my own therapist, and doing some deep thinkng about how I can be useful to others and personally fulfilled. I’m looking forward to starting down this path. Much more to come.

Dead Influencers

The influencers” I’m most interested in are not on social media. Some of them died long before the internet was invented. Here’s a list of people I’m reading and thinking about (in no particular order).

Seems like the oldest problems and ideas are still so relevant today. Who are you influenced by these days?

You are a wave

Before you were you, you existed in some unknowable body of water. Some forces came together and caused a joining and you become you. And you propelled into exisitence.

You are a wave.

You crested and rush headlong into the unknown. You collect experiences as you head toward the finitude of the shore.

At some point, you crash or disapate into that shore, and the you you know ends.

Those forces pull you apart, and back away from the shore. Back into that unknowable body of water.

We are all waves.

Four Thousand Weeks

The Vertical Breath

I’m fascinated by the concept of the vertical breath. As I understand it right now, this concept flips what we traditionally think of regaridng time.

We typicaly envision a horizontal line, with a dot in the middle. The dot is now’ and everything to the left is the past. Everything to the right is the future.

The line of thinking is that the past happened, it has your own emptional imprint on it. The future is too uncertain, we can’t predict the next moment.

Too often, perhaps, we regret the past and have anxiety about the unknown of the future.

Here’s the flip. Because the past and future no longer exist, we carry all that into the present moment. When we breath in and out it all lives in the moment of that breath. The past, and it’s guilt, shame, highlights and the future, with all it’s unpredictability - it all lives in us now. In this breath.

We move from a mental model of a horizontal line, to a vertical one. So we can focus on the now. It’s all there really is.



I was going to update this sketchnote digitally. To clean it up and play with some colors and lettering. Now I think I’ll just let it be. Analog is fun. This is from the wonderful book Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks.

The longest, most uncomfortable silence in history

Yesterday, at work, I asked a group of people some questions that caused the longest, most uncomfortable silence in history” according to one attendee. Causing that silence, and the resulting conversation was the best thing I’ve contributed to work all week. Possibly all month.

That moment and conversation came about not because I have a list of go-to questions. I wasn’t about stumping or triggering someone. That’s a zero sum game. 1 winner + 1 loser = 0.

It was about being present and asking the right questions. Questions that challenged the way we do things. To probe for change. My improv teacher taught us that You have two eyes, two ears, one mouth. Use them proportionally”.

That works in a lot of areas of life, I think. If we want to go deeper, to explore, and observe, to look for change, can we do that while we’re talking?

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers. Pierre Marc-Gaston

A single drop of water on the stone

One drop of water landing upon a stone doesn’t do much to erode the stone. One drop of water, landing every minute of the day, for 100 years does. Building our single drops into repeatable process and practices is a challenge. How does one muster and sustain the self-motivation? Or avoid the guilt of missing a drop or a series of drops?

It’s not about not breaking the chain” as much as it is awerness and patience. And forgiving ourselves. Figuring out our own detractors from, and attractors to the process.

Too often the charlatans or the mislead of the world want to sell us things to increase the amount of drops, or additives to make the drops more powerful. Or things we can do in addition to the dropping of water to make the stone weaker. Does any of that ever work?

I’ve abandoned the practices of dropping the water on the stones for about a month. It has affected my physical and mental health. Consider this post my next single drop of water on the stone.